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Posted at 06:04 PM ET, 01/04/2012

D.C. hunger strike ends; activism will continue

Parsons last Friday, before ending his strike. (Mike DeBonis - The Washington Post)
A few days late on noting this, but worth noting still: Artist and activist Adrian Parsons ended his hunger strike for D.C. democracy on Sunday, sipping coconut water outside Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Hillcrest residence.

Gray was not home, but Parsons and fellow activists decided to stop by after being unable to schedule a meeting for several days. “It was more of a way to say hello real quick,” Parsons said. “Nothing aggressive.”

His decision to break the fast came after medical tests found signs of declining kidney function and he got some tough love from his sister, a nurse. After reintroducing nutrition to his body after 25 days and nearly 30 pounds of weight loss — first with coconut water, then chicken broth, then water crackers, then oatmeal, then lunchmeat — Parsons said he recovered quickly, gaining nine pounds in a day and feeling “completely energetic” as of Tuesday afternoon.

”I didn’t sleep more than three hours last night,” he said. “My body thinks if it wastes time sleeping, I can’t eat.”

Parsons is vowing to use his renewed energy to pursue his movement’s latest tactics, gathering signatures for a petition for D.C. self-determination and voting rights and recruiting 51 residents to do consecutive 24-hour fasts in a sort of hunger-strike relay.

He’s also hoping to meet Gray finally, and he said he was encouraged that Hizzoner last week expressed a willingness to consider signing his petition and participating in the relay fast. He is also considering accompanying Gray and D.C. Council members as they trek to New Hampshire next week to promote D.C. causes with state legislators there.

Parsons said he would “offer some very New Hampshire-esque ways of getting his message across.”

”It is an independent state, fights for its rights in a similar way to what D.C. is trying to accomplish,” he said, repeating the state’s famed motto. “ ‘Live free or die’ — it’s very similar.”

By  |  06:04 PM ET, 01/04/2012

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